Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: A Scanner Darkly

A Scanner Darkly A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two personas that have no idea of each other's existence reside in the same man. Oh, God....
Bob Arctor is both a user and seller of Substance Death.... Fred is a law enforcer who monitors Arctor's activities as part of his job. He watches Arctor's slow descent into addiction. The only issue? Fred and Arctor are the same person.
I will admit that, upon starting this one, I was not enthralled. I did not feel like I just had to finish it, but I didn't want to DNF it either. Something just drew me back to it, although I don't exactly know what that thing was. I've read a lot of P.K. Dick in the past and I honestly think this one of his best. The ending had a twist that threw me for a loop and the foreshadowing during that part was nicely done. And the novel finally had me enthralled.
This is one of Dick's that's not to miss... just be sure to bring a box of tissues....



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Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I couldn't.... I just couldn't with this one.
Honestly, I was just so incredibly bored with it. The Nazis have effectively won WWII and the world is in the grips of tyrannical dictatorship.... or, at least, I thought it would be, but the world felt totally normal. I just didn't feel much oppression that this version of our world is supposedly feeling. Maybe if P.K. Dick had set this from a slave's point of view, or a hidden Jew, or shown a scenario involving how these people are poorly treated or in hiding... something.
And I honestly couldn't see how any person lived, Jew, Japanese, German... it all felt normal with little tension of oppression and with the jumping to different characters that were not fleshed out enough, I couldn't learn anything about them and therefore empathize with them. Having read Station Eleven, I know that it's possible to go back and forth from different POVs and flesh out the characters you zoom in on for the moment, so they have their time on the page and the reader cares about them.

After reading this, I'm disappointed in Philip K. Dick. He's written some great, thought-provoking stuff, but was unfortunately not on point here.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Important Update on Project: Watership Down!

I'm late in saying this, but the recording process for Project: Watership Down is complete! Honestly, before I sat down in front of the microphone for the final recording session, a sob seized my throat. I felt so proud, so overjoyed, to have finished the first and most critical step of this project. Now I'm finished playing pretend with these brave rabbits and it has been an eye-opener for me. I just felt so happy when recording, for the briefest time I was able to experience this story the way it had originally been told... and if I wasn't in love with the story before, I am head over heels in love now! Reading it aloud, somehow, added another layer of magic to this epic tale and brought me from my small suburban home to England's beautiful countryside! And I am absolutely thrilled that I got it done before I start college.... I was really worried about that. Time to move on from the mic and into the editing phase of the project....

More updates to come!


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review: Stranger to the Ground

Stranger to the Ground Stranger to the Ground by Richard Bach
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I can't believe I'm DNF'ing this. I usually love Richard Bach. But this was not his best. Really, it wasn't.
This story follows Dick as he joins the Air Force in a "lonely duel with death". Yes, that is what the synopsis said. But it didn't feel that way. Usually, if Bach isn't doing much in the story, he's pondering bigger questions and that makes up for nothing happening at the moment. Here, there was none of that. It was all focused on the machinery and how these planes can survive battle. And that's not what I love Bach for, I love him for his Zen-like prose and, like I said, that was absent from this story.
I hate giving this book a bad review. I feel like it's more the circumstances under which I read this that are to blame for me not enjoying it, but I can't give it a positive rating and then tell how I really feel in the review. Honestly, if you're new to Bach, don't start with this book, go for something like Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit. He is a great writer, but this book is definitely his weakest.


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